While there is a charge for some of the alternative
restaurants, no one is pressured to dine in them. Colin Veitch,
President & CEO of NCL, explains the dining fees are levied for
capacity control, not exclusivity. On my overnight cruise, the
specialty restaurants proved very popular. I sampled seafood in Chin
Chin, as well as tried the Market Café for breakfast, and iced
coffee and cookies from Java Café for a late-afternoon snack.
Freestyle Cruising means passengers can
choose resort casual attire every night or dress up for a special
dinner. Formal attire during one evening is optional with one or
more restaurants set aside for those who don't want to forgo this
shipboard tradition. The only "dress code" caveat is that
no jeans, t-shirts, shorts, cut-offs, tank tops are allowed in any
of the restaurants at dinner. Most of my fellow passengers selected
an array of "country club casual" outfits, ranging from
pant-and-top ensembles to cocktail dresses. Pack light and think mix
'n match with various accessories. Without assigned dinner partners,
it's unlikely that anyone will notice a "repeated"
Cruising offers the flexibility of dining when you wish and with
whom you choose. What a concept... eating when you're actually
hungry! However, cruise traditionalists who prefer the same table
and waiter every night at a certain time can simply inform the
Maitre d' and those arrangements will be made. For parents who
wish to share a romantic dinner for two, the Kid's Crew program and
group babysitting solves the problem of child care.
While there are over thirty fare categories listed in the
brochures, Norwegian Jewel's accommodations range from Standard
Inside and Oceanview Staterooms to Oceanview staterooms with
Balconies, Mini-Suites, Penthouses, Owner's suites, and the
fantastic Courtyard Villas and Garden Villas. More than 70% of all
staterooms are outside. (Follow this link to Stateroom
accommodations have gleaming cherry wood cabinetry and paneling
accents, a small refrigerator and personal safe for valuables, as
well as in-cabin coffee service to heat water for tea or instant
coffee. A professional style hairdryer with real power is provided
at each dressing table. Bathroom amenities include shampoo and soap
dispensers and hold your hats... most bathrooms are split into
sections. Yes, the toilet is separated from the sink area by a wall
and sliding glass door. The shower is roomy and also has a sliding
glass door. No more clinging shower curtain or problem retrieving
approximately 172 square feet, the standard Oceanview Staterooms are
generous. Even Inside Staterooms are cheery and the clever use
of primary colors and strategically placed mirrors achieves an open
feeling. One of the most desirable of all stateroom amenities is a
balcony and more than half of Norwegian Jewel's outside staterooms
have them. Book yours fast—Oceanview Staterooms with Balconies are
a hot seller. Mini-Suites with a balcony are even more desirable
with additional square footage, generous storage, and bathtubs.
Stepping up to more space, Penthouses and Owner's Suites are some of
the chicest digs at sea.
pièce de résistance are the two Garden Villas. High atop the
Norwegian Jewel, they are the ultimate in opulence. At 4,390 square
feet, with living room, dining room, three bedrooms with luxury
baths, and more toys than I could count, they are fantasies afloar.
Occupants need only step outside to enjoy a relaxing soak in their
hot tub or al fresco dining in their private garden. Have the butler
serve cocktails while I slip into my specially-designed robe.
Okay... I'm through daydreaming, but it is a lovely wish. Mr. Veitch
confided they are not at a loss for occupants, even at rates that
make my gold card tremble.
new on Norwegian Jewel are ten Courtyard Villas. At 572 square feet,
they are essentially identical to the Penthouse categories (four
have "children's bedrooms" and two do not). All ten share
a private courtyard with pool, whirlpool, and gym. Balinese-style
sunbeds, lounge chairs, hammocks, and ocean views are found on
private rooftop sun spaces one deck above.
agree with Doug Stallings, editor of Fodor's The
Complete Guide to Caribbean Cruises, who found the Courtyard
Villas to be "really amazing, although there's nothing
different about the villas themselves." He adds, "The
Courtyard, which has a retractable roof, is a great addition."
However, looking forward, I anticipate they will be ideal for small
family groups traveling together. The possibility of a problem
exists if such a group doesn't book them all, though. Couples who
anticipate a serene atmosphere could find their relaxation disturbed
by such a group (including small children, although Colin Veitch
feels they will be more attracted to the waterslide at the Lido pool
than the smaller Courtyard pool.)
and concierge services are available for all Villa occupants. An
exclusive Concierge Lounge, where refreshments and evening cocktails
and canapés are served, is at their disposal as well. Garden Villa
passengers are also offered complimentary limousine service from the
pier to the airport at the end of their cruise.
large families, interconnecting standard staterooms and suites can
create a two to five bedroom area and passengers with disabilities
haven't been overlooked—twenty-seven cabins of various types have
been designed for their special needs.
Continued --> Norwegian
Jewel Preview (Part 2)
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Author's Collection & Courtesy of Norwegian